arthur erickson 1924-2009

spaceman spiff

as a vancouverite, i was lucky to be to his exposed to his work early on...and a big reason why i chose this profession...

met him quite a few years ago while working with a local consultant for one of his international projects and as cheesy as this sounds, the man simply exuded greatness...

my favorite erickson projects:UBC Museum of Anthropology and Robson Square Courthouse Complex...

May 21, 09 3:45 am

that's a long article... wow.

i really dug the waterfall bldg. some of his houses look amazing, but i've never seen them in person...

May 21, 09 3:53 am  · 
liberty bell
In 2004, when Erickson was 80, a controversial address that he made to Canadian bankers in 1972 was one of two speeches he kept posted on his corporate web site.

After declaring that worldwide tourism was the greatest threat to human cultures and slamming bank-financed “multi-storied monster” hotels in pristine Third World settings, Erickson reminded the bankers of their enormous responsibilities.

“You, as bankers, cannot afford to be concerned with only the economic aspects of projects that you finance,” he declared.

“There may be serious implications on the natural environment, on the urban environment, on human culture, which at some future time may even be considered crimes against mankind

Damn, I hope I'm that principled and brave when I'm 80!

I also love the Museum of Anthropology, spiff. Thanks for your personal recollection.


May 21, 09 9:58 am  · 
spaceman spiff

that excerpt struck me as being quite prescient as well...

at the launch of the project, we had a company dinner where i was seated beside him...over the course of the next couple of hours, he told many amazing stories and offered opinions on such a wide range of topics, not just about architecture...

the thing that really stuck with me was his soft-spokenness and utter humility about everything...

May 21, 09 10:46 am  · 

Very graceful gentlemen, achieved a lot and set the tone for a generation of architects in the pacific north west. I drive by a couple of his homes almost daily and still admire what he had accompllshed.

May 21, 09 2:42 pm  · 

I liked this quote which he kept up on his website.....

“Architecture, as I see it, is the art of composing spaces in response to existing environmental and urbanistic conditions to answer a client's needs. In this way, the building becomes the resolution between its inner being and the outer conditions imposed upon it. It is never solitary but is part of its setting and thus must blend in a timeless way with its surroundings yet show its own fresh presence . . .

“We are not peddlers of the fashionable. We believe that good design defies fashion, is truly innovative, eminently sensible, yet a source of inspiration to those who have the pleasure of living with it.”

May 21, 09 2:54 pm  · 

When I was in school we had to create these little comic book presentations about a building and I ended up with Author Erickson so I did UBC Museum of Anthropology. I have no idea where that project went but this past weekend when cleaning out the garage I came across some rolls of old school project and they became recycles paper instood of ending up in the land fill. I have never visited the UBC Museum of Anthropology, but it is on my list of things to do. Hat's off to another Viking Architect, may you sail with the Gods of Architecture!

May 21, 09 7:48 pm  · 

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